5 Furnace Noises You Shouldn’t Ignore

A furnace can be a noisy thing. Luckily, for most of us, we’ve grown accustomed to the unique sounds our heating system emits. You rest in bed at night, waiting to hear the familiar rumble that lets you know all is well and the night ahead will be toasty and warm.

Normal furnace sounds you hear regularly are a comfort in themselves, letting you know your system is at work to keep your home warm. But what about the sounds that aren’t part of your furnace’s usual operation? Could these sounds indicate impending problems for homeowners? And just what do these booms, screeches, and crashes really mean? Check out this infographic for a quick overview of some of the common culprits of these unusual sounds.

Below, we’ve outlined five furnace noises you shouldn’t ignore.

Warning Signs Your Furnace Needs Repair

Noises are usually an indication that your furnace needs routine maintenance or repair. However, some noises can indicate an issue with your furnace that could possibly put you and your family at risk. Here is a list of five problematic furnace noises and what your furnace is trying to tell you.

  1. Booming – It’s not uncommon for homeowners to hear a boom when the furnace engages. In some furnaces, especially older models, a boom could indicate the buildup of gas from a delay in the ignition. If you hear this sound, call a professional service technician immediately, especially if there is an odor of natural gas around the furnace.
  2. Clicking – A clicking noise coming from your furnace is typically an indication of a faulty flame sensor or possibly a problem between the ignition and the gas. This will also require immediate attention.
  3. Squealing – Not unlike a car, squealing coming from your furnace could indicate a faulty belt or a failing fan motor. Both fixes are usually pretty routine but do require a certified HVAC service technician.
  4. Rattling – A rattling sound that doesn’t subside could be indicative of worn or broken components in the motor or fan. If the rattling worsens, you could be hearing the sound of a complete system failure.
  5. Chirping – Chirping noises are common in a furnace that hasn’t been used in a while. If you hear chirping, and it’s the beginning of the furnace season, wait a bit. If the chirping doesn’t go away, you may need your fan belts replaced or some similar routine maintenance performed.

If your furnace is making any of these noises (or if it’s making a completely different noise!), we recommend calling out an expert to ensure everything’s working safely.

Maintenance Is Key

Routine furnace maintenance is a must in order to keep your furnace in good working order. If it’s been a while since you’ve had your furnace inspected, the sounds you hear could simply be due to your lack of seasonal maintenance and not a major problem.

W. F. Smith can help you decipher the language of your furnace. When you hear noises that aren’t part of normal operation, contact our professional heating technicians. The longer you ignore these five furnace noises, the more damage could be done to your system. These not-so-normal sounds can be a red flag that you need service now. Watch this quick video for a recap about when you should call W.F. Smith Heating & Air Conditioning to take a look at your furnace.

Contact us at the first sound of trouble, and don’t forget to ask about our maintenance plans!

W.F. Smith HVAC testimonial

WF Smith installed our old unit of the same make and model number about 15 years ago. I only needed service once in all that time ( thermostat ) so I was very happy along with great performance and super quiet operation. When I needed a new unit, the choice was obvious. Dave actually called me back a couple of times when I left a message regarding an install date. The unit was installed on time with no issues. I regard WF Smith as a first class professional operation.